Friday, November 14, 2008

A Note on Design Trends

As we embark on this journey of the Beautiful Habitat blog, I want to articulate my view on home design trends. I will often advise not to follow the trends and instead to focus on what you love; what makes you happy. Yet, I will be featuring trends and products in my posts. So what exactly is going on in my head? Inspiration seek.

Home Design: Fashion Design
The home industry has become much like the fashion industry, where magazines and TV shows are continually forecasting next season's trends and declaring "what's hot, what's not". This boom in the home industry has its pros and cons. On the upside, there are more home products on the market than ever before, giving us more choice and sources for inspiration.
Unfortunately the media focus on "trends" is predominately to get you to buy more stuff, more often. This is often done through messages that imply your home is somehow out of fashion or otherwise inadequate. A friend recently asked if I would help her redecorate a room because she had read a magazine trend report that browns were out and grays were in. Sadly, she was perfectly happy with the room until she read this little blurb in a magazine.

Seek Inspiration, Not Dogmatic Truths
My point is to look to the trends and media for inspiration and creative stimulation, but be true to yourself, your lifestyle, and the things you truly prefer. Rules of fashion can mirror rules of home design.
  • In both, it is wise to invest in basics for a longer term and to change out accessories for an updated look.
  • Pieces you love can outlive any trend.
  • In fashion, you should honor what suits your body-type and lifestyle. Likewise, in the home it's best to honor that which suits the structure of your home and your lifestyle. I love a skinny jean, but don't have the hips to pull the look off. I also love luxuriously layered bedding, but don't have the lifestyle or desire to support multiple coverlets and pillows. I am happiest when I am honest with myself on both fronts.

And to my friend who worried about her use of browns, here is some chocolate-inspired design just for you.

Boheme wallpaper,

Monari stripe fabric,

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